One of the most fashionable women in the world, Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour, is almost always seen wearing sunglasses and a classic bob haircut. Fashion icon Iris Apfel is frequently photographed wearing bold clothing and jewelry, rich colors and oversized glasses. Fashion icon and singer Rihanna regularly changes her style with Hollywood glam, edgy streetwear, and homage to her Caribbean heritage. All are known for their amazing personal style.
Very few of us (if any) could recreate their style with the same success. Style is unique and varies by individual. Just as our fashion icons have their own individual style, we should develop our own. I’ve listed four reasons why personal style is important.
Our Personal Style Allows Us To Tap Into Our Cultural Heritage
In high school I proudly wore a Nefertiti pendant and earrings every single day for a year. They were a nod to my African American heritage and the rich culture and accomplishments of African people.
I recently visited this notion when I purchased an African print maxi skirt that fit sizes 0 to 3x easily accommodating my thick thighs and hips. The fact that the skirt fit women who are shaped like me in a variety of sizes made me think differently about how clothes are sized. In both instances, the clothing and jewelry were more than just clothes. They were a celebration of history and culture.
I have also used fashion to connect to other cultures. For example, the soft flow and femininity of kimonos makes me think of the beauty and grace of Geishas.
My grandmother was an impeccably dressed woman who always wore hats. She frequented high end department stores in downtown Philadelphia for new arrivals and was on a first name basis with all of the sales people. Whenever I wear a hat today, I lovingly think of her.
The style of clothing can flashback to bygone eras such as the knits and prints of the seventies or fun, daring miniskirts and platform shoes of the sixties. It can transport us to faraway places and allow us to act out our dreams and fantasies.
Clothing Can Lift Our Spirits and Affect How We Feel
Light, pastel colored clothing can have a soothing and relaxing effect on the wearer, while red is invigorating and draws attention! A soft fabric like cashmere or silk can feel heavenly. The snug fit of workout tights might make a woman feel strong and powerful, while the draping of fabric over a woman’s curves can make her feel beautiful and elegant. A bright floral umbrella on a rainy day can be a pleasant distraction from the weather.
Our Style Sends A Message To Other People About Who We Are And How We Are Feeling
Our style instantly conveys a lot about who we are. A power suit conveys a no nonsense, ready to work attitude. Sweat suits give the impression that a person is ready to exert physical effort. A feminine dress can ooze of flirtiness and fun!
If we are aware of our personal style, we can use that knowledge to make our days better. Wearing your favorite color when you’re feeling down may help you feel better. Your best power suit may boost your confidence and comfort level during an important presentation at work.
Because the style of clothing affects us in many ways, I believe that women should develop and embrace their personal style. By doing so, we can take control of the messages that we are communicating to others, and add some subtle but real pleasantries into our days.
Fashion is merely a tool to help us develop our personal style. Being fashionable doesn’t mean the clothing will make us feel good. Clothing that is fashionable has no meaning unless it highlights elements of our personal style.
What do you think? Is personal style more important than fashion?